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     Brew Pub Reviews

Brew Pub Details

Production: 800 bbl/year
Brewmaster: J. Scott Francis
Tours: Upon Request
Restaurant: Yes
Smoking: Yes
Games: Not Sure

Barley's Alehouse #1

467 N High Street
Columbus, Ohio  43215
(614) 228-2537

Reviewed by: dfunk
Wednesday, November 7th, 2001

The Beer

Pilsner - Another good summer/light beer. It was light in body, hop heavy, but sweet. "Pale malt and Slovakian Saaz hops."
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Pale Ale - I could smell the caramel malt. An amber Pale Ale with a good malt/hops mix, it includes English-malted barley. A bittersweet taste with a long, dry finish. As much an English Bitter as a PA.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Scottish Ale - Hard as I try, I cannot develop a taste for Scottish Ale. Barley's best seller is literally an award winner. The UK patrons say it's the best one, and most people seem to agree.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Crooked Sky Rye - This was the smoothest one of the selections. Very easy drinking, enjoyable in quantity. It's a rich golden-copper color, light to medium in body, and I would prefer it close to room temperature. No real marked aftertaste, save a slight dryness.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Pipebuster Brown - Again, Pipebuster is a good, smooth beer. Nut and caramel flavor, coffee aftertaste that increases as you drink, but is just right.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Bambino Sigorino Stout - Bambino's out of the cask. It has a warn Cabernet body (just body/mouth feel, not taste), caramel flavor, and a slight alcohol taste.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Alexander Russian Imperial Stout - Upon smelling the Russian, I thought it would be well served in a Brandy snifter; the alcohol/port aroma made me think this was going to be another "how much alcohol can I put in this?" Imperial. I was pleasantly surprised to find the taste much more subdued than the aroma. Kind of a rye/sweet taste to it; just the right amount of body. It was even smoother by the pint.
Reviewer's Rating: n/a

Discussion with J. Scott Francis

He gave me a tour of the basement facilities. An evil clown resides there. Usually when I ask about brewing philosophy, I get "I brew what I like" or "I brew what is appealing." Scott says he "brews for the owners." He likes the business aspect of things. While they should care about their craft, he believes that too many brewers aren't business-oriented enough. After all, it is a business. So he likes to deal with amortization, etc.

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The Atmosphere

I tried the Barley's Burger with grilled sweet onions. Four out of five on the brewpub burger scale.

Afterthoughts

A note on the stouts: I really enjoyed both. I describe them as being on a spectrum. On one end is a cream stout and the other a hard-ass imperial. The Bambino was one-third from the left, and the Russian was one-third from the right. The meet near the middle to provide two moderate, yet unique options. And for smooth, but flavorful drinking, you can't beat the Rye and Brown. Add to that the award winning Scottish Ale and, well*you really can't go wrong with any of the choices.

Simply put, Barley's is the best brewpub in Columbus. Cheers!

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